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Civil rights icon Rev. T.J. Jemison dies at 95

rev tj jemison

Statement by the President on the Passing of Civil Rights Leader Rev. T.J. Jemison

Longtime Louisiana pastor Rev. T.J. Jemison who advised Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on the Montgomery, Ala. bus boycott in 1953 has died in Baton Rouge, La. Jemison, 95, died of natural causes Nov. 15 at a hospital in Baton Rouge, his son, Ted Jemison tells press. A longtime pastor of Mount Zion First Baptist Church in Baton Rouge and president of the National Baptist Convention, the largest black Baptist organization in the United States, from 1982 to 1994, Jemison’s bus boycott lasted eight days and was the precursor to the yearlong Montgomery bus boycott of 1955 led by the late Rosa Parks.

Read the statement by the President on the passing of civil rights leader Rev. T.J. Jemison:

Michelle and I were saddened to hear about the passing of Reverend T. J. Jemison. With visionary spirit and charisma, he led the country’s first boycott of segregated seating on public buses 60 years ago, and he went on to help eradicate legal segregation and improve voting rights laws for disenfranchised Americans. As a founding member of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and former president of the National Baptist Convention, he inspired Americans across our country with the courage of his convictions and the depth of his faith.

As we mark the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Justice, we remember the legacy of trailblazers like T.J. Jemison, and commit ourselves to carrying that legacy forward in the years to come. Our nation is a better place because of Reverend Jemison’s struggle and sacrifice, and our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends, and loved ones.